Anthony Crolla produced a left to the body like nothing he’s ever landed before to dethrone Darleys Perez of his WBA lightweight title at the Manchester Arena in England on Saturday night.
The 29 year-old had previously missed out on the belt back in July when it looked as if Crolla had done enough to earn a unanimous decision until the three judges came back with a draw verdict.
Crolla regrouped with coach Joe Gallagher and came out with renewed intent in the rematch to gain control of the fight in the early rounds. By the fifth, Crolla landed a masterful shot downstairs as Perez covered up on the ropes and the Colombian was unable to make referee Terry O’Connor’s ten count.
As the 8,000 plus crowd went bezerk, Crolla jumped for joy at finally sealing his lifelong ambition at the second attempt.
After the fight, Crolla was overcome with emotion when speaking to Sky Sports’ Ed Robinson.
“I’ve dreamt this dream since I was ten years old,” said Crolla. “I honestly didn’t think it was this good.
“I was really confident that I was going to get Darleys Perez out of there and I thought it was going to be a head shot, but I’ll take that body shot any day of the week.
“I’ve got to thank the team around me and Joe (Gallagher) as he’s turned by career around. A lot of people had given up on me when I went to him and I’m so thankful.
“I just want many more nights like this in Manchester. I’ll be forever in debt to these people.”
The win comes just a year on from Crolla suffering serious head injuries during an attack by burglars and is testament to the courage of a likeable man young man who didn’t need any favours from anybody in realising his ambition.
Crolla could now be in the mix to fight the likes of WBO belt holder and fellow Mancunian Terry Flanagan, WBC champion Jorge Linares, the winner of the interim WBA clash between Kevin Mitchell and Ismael Barroso or even a third fight with long time Liverpool rival Derry Mathews in 2016.